WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — As well as enhancing physical appearance, patients seek cosmetic procedures for emotional and psychosocial reasons, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Dermatology.

Amanda Maisel, from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a prospective study to estimate the relative importance of factors that motivate patients to seek minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. A total of 511 patients were enrolled and completed a survey instrument.

The researchers found that in addition to motivations pertaining to aesthetic appearance, including the desire for beautiful skin and a youthful, attractive appearance, other motives that were commonly reported were related to physical health, such as preventing worsening of condition or symptoms (53.3 percent), and psychosocial well-being, such as the desire to feel happier and more confident or improve total quality of life (67.2 percent), treat oneself or celebrate (61.3 percent), and look good professionally (54.8 percent). In general, cost- and convenience-related motivations were rated as less important (14.1 percent). Most of the motivations were internally generated and designed to please patients, with patients themselves making the decision to undergo cosmetic procedures. Psychological and emotional motivations were more likely among patients seeking procedures such as body contouring, acne scar treatment, and tattoo removal (86.4, 85.7, and 72.7 percent, respectively).

“This initial prospective, multicenter study comprehensively assessed why patients seek minimally invasive cosmetic procedures,” the authors write. “Common reasons included emotional, psychological, and practical motivations in addition to the desire to enhance physical appearance.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology industry.

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